Stage 3: Community participation
Participation and co-creation are key to the wellbeing economy approach, with a focus on reaching out and involving and empowering citizens, communities, local enterprises and anchor organisations to take an active role in the development of local economic policy and strategy.
This consultation and engagement stage is an opportunity to test the evidence and analysis gathered during stages one and two, and to more fully understand the relationships between issues as experienced by those who live and work in the area. This process should help to identify any gaps in evidence base and provide more qualitative and quantitative evidence to deepen understanding of wellbeing outcomes and the drivers of outcomes.
Stakeholder engagement is also an opportunity to explore the policies and practices that are detrimental to wellbeing outcomes, as well as identifying priority areas for action and places in the local system where interventions would have the greatest impact on wellbeing outcomes.
Clackmannanshire Stage 3 Case Study
In Clackmannanshire, workshops based on the seven priority wellbeing outcomes were held with stakeholders from across the local authority area, including members of the Clackmannanshire Alliance (representing the boards of NHS Forth Valley, Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Enterprise, Clackmannanshire Business and Clackmannanshire Council) as well as Scottish Government officials.
Workshops were designed to allow participants to explore causes, effects and dependencies between outcomes and drivers, and to identify the policies and practices that would have most impact on improving outcomes. The workshops also provided an interactive way of engaging with stakeholders and benefiting from the expertise of a wide range of individuals with an interest in improving outcomes in the local area.
To capture additional issues that were emerging from COVID-19 pandemic impacts, a qualitative impact survey was carried out with local businesses and communities. Evidence from this survey suggested that the impacts of the pandemic acted to exacerbate existing inequalities, but the medium- to long-term impacts of pandemic restrictions and response activities remained uncertain.
The qualitative evidence captured in these consultation and engagement exercises was used by SIPHER to inform the development of a systems map highlighting the connections within the local system and provided further evidence to integrate into the driver diagrams developed in stage two of the process.
Stage 3 Actions
1. Identify stakeholders for engagement. Stakeholders can be identified on the basis of connection to the key outcomes, but should include representatives from the local community, including public, private and third sector organisations as appropriate. A balance of stakeholder interests should be represented addressing wellbeing outcomes of both people and planet, and the key drivers of outcomes identified.
2. Undertake engagement that seeks to understand the perspectives of a diverse range of stakeholders and what matters to different groups in delivering a wellbeing economy. Consultation and engagement could take a variety of forms, including workshops, focus groups, community meetings or surveys. This stage is an opportunity to:
- Understand issues specific to the local area (for example, this may include differences between urban, rural and island localities) and the relative importance of these to stakeholders.
- Identify strengths and opportunities in the local area.
- Explore the relationships between drivers and outcomes and test the evidence gathered in stage two with those with first-hand experience or expertise. It is important that this is a transparent and open process to ensure genuine collaboration and the evidence and data gathered in the earlier stages of the process should be shared with participants.
- Consider the points in the local economic system where intervention would have most impact, and where the powers or levers of change lie.
3. Reflect on the evidence gathered during the course of your consultation and engagement and, if appropriate, revisit driver maps/diagrams and wellbeing outcomes to add in any additional evidence.
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